Subject questions

دوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / اپیزود 18

گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه

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Subject questions

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In everyday English, the words _who, what, which_ and _whose_ are very common in questions. But how do we form questions when we want to ask about a subject or an object? Do not fear, Rob and Catherine are here to help. Theyve got 6 minutes to explain everything. Are you ready to begin?

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Rob Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Rob.

Catherine And me, Catherine. Hello.

Rob Hello. In this programme we’re talking about subject questions. We’ll show you what they are, and how to make them…

Catherine And we’ll have a quiz to test what you’ve learnt…

Rob And we’ll finish with a top pronunciation tip.

Catherine
So, let’s get started. In everyday English, the words who , what , which and whose are very common in questions. Here’s Neil, hello Neil.

Neil Hello Catherine.

Catherine With an example:

Neil
Who did David meet?

Rob Thanks Neil. Now the answer could be:

Neil David met Victoria.

Catherine Subject: David; verb: met; object: Victoria. So Victoria is the object of the verb met.

Rob So in the question Who did David meet? The word who is asking about the object .

Catherine But we can also use question words to ask about the subject , like this:

Neil Who lives in the White House?

Catherine OK, so we have a question word: who, plus a verb: lives. And it’s a subject question because it asks who is doing the verb . Who lives in the White House?

Rob Now we don’t use do , does or did in subject questions. We don’t say Who does live - it’s just Who lives . So Catherine Who lives in the White House?

Catherine Tough one Rob. I think it’s the US president.

Rob Yes, correct.

Catherine Let’s have another one please.

Neil What makes you happy?

Catherine What makes me happy? Knitting actually makes me happy! So this question word is what . What is the subject, and the verb is makes . Rob, what makes you happy?

Rob It’s got to be riding my bike, I think. So that’s who to ask about people, and what for things.

Catherine Exactly. Now, can we have nother one please Neil?

Neil Which key opens this door?

Catherine So, the question word which usually comes with a noun . For example: which key. Rob, which key opens this door?

Rob The smallest key opens this door. We use which when the choice of possible answers is limited, like which key, or which day, or which colour.

Catherine And what if the choice of possible answers isn’t limited?

Rob Well, then we use what without a noun.

Neil What happened last night? What caused the accident?

IDENT You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Rob And we’re looking at subject questions. Neil, can we have one more subject question word please?

Neil Whose story won first prize?

Rob The word whose shows that something belongs to someone, and it usually comes with a noun, so: whose story is the subject; the verb is won. Whose story won first prize?

Catherine And now: a pronunciation warning. In spoken English, the words who is and the words who has are often shortened to:

Both Who’s !!!

Catherine That’s right: it sounds exactly the same as the question word whose . Who’s - whose .

Rob It’s confusing, isn’t it? So here’s a little tip for you. If you remember that the question word whose usually comes with a noun, you should be able to tell the difference. Here’s Neil with two questions - but only one of them has a noun after the word whose . See if you can tell which one:

Neil Who’s using my mobile phone? Whose mobile phone has a signal?

Rob Did you get that? The second question had whose plus a noun so that means it’s a subject question : Whose mobile phone has a signal?

Catherine Top tip Rob. So now we have four words we can use for subject questions: who, which , what , and whose .

Rob Do you know what, I think that means: it’s quiz time.

Catherine And you’re right, it is Rob. But actually, today we’re doing a backwards quiz: I’ll say the answer, and you at home have to work out what the subject question is. Here’s the first answer: Keiko speaks Japanese.

Rob So, the subject is Keiko - that’s a person. It’s who for people, so the question is Who speaks Japanese?

Catherine Exactly. Here’s another answer: Kate’s dog won the competition.

Rob So it’s whose because the dog belongs to Kate. With whose we need the noun dog, so: Whose dog won the competition?

Catherine Right, very good. And Kate’s dog is a clever dog! No doubt about it. Right, last one: The shop on the corner sells gloves.

Rob So it’s which with shop because we’re asking about a thing - and we can suppose there’s a limited choice of shops in the area - so: Which shop sells gloves?

Catherine So that’s subject questions . They don’t need the auxiliary do , does or did …

Rob …but they all start with a question word. Just remember to choose the right one!

Catherine There’s more about this on our website at www.bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.

Both Bye.

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